with Simplicity Expert, A.Michelle Blakeley
Running a business can be emotionally, physically and financially challenging. A healthy support system is essential for your personal and professional growth. When things aren’t right in your business, your personal life is affected. When things aren’t right in your personal life, your business is affected.
Work life balance is often elusive, however, your personal and professional life are interdependent. Your business values and personal values should be aligned. What you believe and practice in your personal life, should be reflected in how you operate your business.
When business owners openly display and voice their values, they organically attract support from like-minded people. People do business with people they know and trust. You can’t trust someone in business and not trust them personally. Who you are is not relegated to what happens during 9am and 5pm. There is no separation in purpose, priorities or practice. By establishing a healthy support system, you and your business are one.
Most entrepreneurs separate their family life from their work life. We assume they won’t/don’t understand what we are going through, which undermines their capacity to provide us with emotional support. There is great strength and power in a supportive family as an entrepreneur grows his/her business. Family is defined as the individual defines it, not how society defines it. Make an effort to allow your family to be supportive by sharing your frustrations, victories and dreams. Although they may not initially know how to be responsive, help them to understand why your business purpose is important to you and how it drives you, personally. It’s not about their being able to help you, it’s about empathy and just like unconditional love, empathy covers a multitude of emotions.
Friends can help you address your need for a physical support system. They can walk with you, workout with you and provide companionship. They can be a sounding board when you simply need to heard. Good friends will be candid and give you the good, bad and the ugly. They may even help out when you are in a pinch. Don’t take them for granted. Friendship goes both ways. Be sure to reciprocate and be a good a friend. Be supportive.
Colleagues offer us a different kind of support. Even though they may work in a different industry, they are business-minded and can relate to fundamental business challenges. They may even share some of the same experiences and frustrations. You can exchange resources. They can also hold you accountable for objectives and goals you set.
Working with a mentor or advisor decreases your learning curve. They understand what you are going through and can often help address problems and concerns with viable and practical solutions; often from similar experiences. They sometimes help us see what is around the corner. Their constructive criticism comes without judgment. They generally have our best interest at heart and want us to succeed. Knowing someone emotionally has your back is sometimes the safety net we need to take chances and risks.
Having a long-term relationship with a client is a great way to maintain a perspective on your business that includes where you are and how far you’ve come. The client experiences your business growth with you. Every business owner should have at least one client whom they can depend on for direct and honest feedback on effective business practices, changing needs, pricing and client experience. Some may think it is taboo to cross personal and professional relationships, but if your purpose and values are aligned and interests are shared, this relationship can be most advantageous.
Build a healthy support system, merge the lines between the personal and professional and watch the combined efforts increase your sense of direction, confidence and knowledge.
WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG, NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Simplicity expert and Micro Business Therapist™, A.Michelle Blakeley helps entrepreneurs align their purpose and principles with their business practices for agile growth. Connect with her on Twitter at @simplicityinc or check out her online magazine, Micro Business Therapy